Zach's grandmother, known as GoGo, died last week. Aside from her being old, her death was a bit unexpected, but it was quick...the way she would have wanted it. GoGo was a character. Typical of her generation, her hair was always perfectly coiffed, her make-up was "done", and she was always dressed to the nines, or at least in a nice housecoat if she was at home. GoGo was someone who would tell it like it was. She didn't mince words...you always knew where you stood with GoGo, good or bad. And of course, she always had lots of advice for everyone. But what struck me the most about GoGo was how much she loved her family. She adored her late husband, Jim, which was obvious to everyone, even when she was giving him some good-natured teasing or direction. She had a wonderful relationship with both of her daughters, and she never stopped talking about, or showing off pictures of, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Zach was her favorite grandchild, likely because he lived in the same area as GoGo for much of his life. So, when she died, we took Julia and flew to Virginia Beach to be with Zach's family. All seven of his cousins came, and we loved catching up with them. We saw Zach's aunt and uncle, GoGo's caretakers--some of whom had been with her almost 30 years--and lots of her and Carol's friends. Julia was a bright spot in the midst of sadness over losing GoGo. She was smiling and happy the whole time and slept through the entire Mass, despite having a nasty cold and cough. I regretted that we had not gone sooner, so that GoGo could have met her. That's the thing about funerals--they bring everyone together, but just a little too late. I couldn't help but think how much GoGo would have loved this weekend and would have loved seeing all of her family...there just for her. Instead, we celebrated her and her life well-lived. She will be missed.